Tomorrow I'm going to the White Rock Home Tour, and to the Dallas Arboretum. I want to see the homes designed by Lyle Rowley, a disciple of famed Dallas architect Howard Meyer.
It wasn't easy bringing what was, at the time, new architectural thinking to Dallas. Ju-Nel's homes featured large, non-standard doors and windows, open floor plans and unique details like terrazzo floors, exposed interior brick and beams, pitched ceilings and courtyards. With today's trends leaning contemporary, these homes sound like a dream. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, banks didn't agree. Back then, there was one home style they made loans for--mid-century ranch homes with boxy rooms and traditional floor plans. These were the ones that sold like hotcakes.
In their short but illustrious career, Ju-Nel created about fifty homes found exclusively in the hilly, urban forested Casa Linda, Eastwood Estates, Old Lake Highlands and Lake Highlands neighborhoods. Today the homes are coveted and owned by architects, artists and art enthusiasts.
I grew up on that new architectural thinking, and it will always resonate for me. The home tour will be an extension of my childhood Sunday afternoon pastime--flopping down on the living room carpet, paging through Living Spaces, edited by George Nelson. Amazing to see that book for sale for up to four hundred dollars now.
Perhaps the oddest thing is that I have a plan. When I was married, my spouse was always disgusted that I didn't plan weekend activities for us as a couple or as a family. I was so preoccupied with the logistics of getting three kids to overlapping sports practices and games, scouts, allergy shots, swim lessons, clubs, karate, and the occasional emergency room visit, almost always without his help, that I had no energy left for planning amusements and outings for my novelty- and risk-seeking spouse. My locus of operations kept collapsing inward as his need to skydive, run marathons, and climb Himalayas spiraled outward.
It's been years since our divorce. The kids are mostly grown. They show a remarkable sense of adventure MIXED with wonderful practicality, responsibility, good sense, and frugality. They have excellent planning skills, and make fabulous opportunities for themselves. I have hopes that they will even be able to choreograph simultaneous crosstown soccer practices a few years down the road.
Now I'm mostly planning for myself. Somedays I'm happy with a plan to get the laundry folded and a blog or two written. Other days it is nice to set off on an adventure.